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Norwegian Extends Voyage Suspension Through End of May

Norwegian says it is continuing to work on its return-to-service plan to meet the CDC's requirements.
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Norwegian Cruise Line  (NCLH) - Get Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd. Report shares jumped Monday despite the company announcing that it is extending its suspension of voyages through the end of May.

The company says it is continuing to work through its return-to-service plan to meet the requirements for the Framework for Conditional Sailing Order issued by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) last year. 

Customers who are currently booked on cancelled voyages are asked to contact their travel agent or the cruise line itself for more information. 

In December, Norwegian extended the suspension of its global operations through February and, in some cases, March. In January, the company extended that suspension through April 30, as did rivals Royal Caribbean  (RCL) - Get Royal Caribbean Group Report and Carnival Corp.  (CCL) - Get Carnival Corporation Report

The CDC lifted its No Sail Order in late October, releasing the requirements for cruise ships to resume operations in the U.S.

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The agency said it would take a "phased approach" to resuming operations that initially requires implementing safeguards for crew members, with the CDC ensuring ship operators have enough protective equipment for the crews.

The next phase require ship operators to build the laboratory capacity needed to test passengers for COVID-19. 

Next, the cruise lines will conduct simulated voyages to test ship operators' "ability to mitigate COVID-19." If they pass those tests, ships will then receive certification to resume voyages. 

Cruise ships have been held in port since the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic led the CDC to issue a no sail order on March 14, 2020. The agency then extended that order in April, July and September as the CDC said that cruise ship travel "may continue to introduce, transmit, or spread" the virus. 

Norwegian shares were up 5.01% to $24.72 at last check Monday morning.